LIFESTYLE: Talent Show For Actors?

It seems that in this vast world of reality-driven television, and talent-orientated shows, dowsed majoritively in singing and dancing, we have forgotten and pushed the actors of today neatly in a corner. We have subconsciously dismissed the power of an actor's monologue, the power of the works of Brecht, Pinter or Beckett. We admire the shows of today which hold such influence such as Broadchurch, or even more recently, the spectacular northern working class dramas, such as Sheridan Smith's The Moorside, which generate a heavy creative stamp on society. We are constantly enthralled by the actor's voice, yet there is not one show on television at the present time, solely commited to seeking out the talents of actors. Any of the acts featured on talent shows that involve acting are heavily diluted, and it's truly disheartening, especially because there are so many out of work actors, perhaps young actors, immsering themselves in their craft that can not have the creative platform they need such as the singers and dancers can on many of the BBC and ITV shows; which have proven to be such wonderful podium for their skills.

Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay
Why Is There Such A Lack Of Acting Talent Shows On Television?

Perhaps it's because the concept of a show purely dedicated to acting has never hit the mark with any top producers, that it's fallen at the first hurdle. Perhaps we are so thickly glazed in masses of tongue-in-cheek reality shows that there is no real need for it but having graduated with a Degree in Drama myself, I do feel a huge empathy towards the actors of today who are searching for a breakout role, or an opportunity. Actors are flung into a world of online auditions, for local roles or features on YouTube, there are many theatre groups, but these are not always practical. Television talent shows have carved their way slowly into the hearts of the British public. We have had creative geniuses such as Andrew Lloyd Webber search for new stars in his West End Musicals, even lately, the talented Gary Barlow, searching for a cast for his play on the BBC's Let It Shine. Yet, there is no acknowledgement for actors, who bring the most indulgent, and spectacular pieces of art to the stage and screen; there is no end to the history of theatre, there is no end to the limitless possibilities of the creativity of theatre.

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay
The Plan "Curtain Call" 

If there was a television show dedicated solely to finding new acting talent then perhaps we could also be used to inspire people of all ages to delve back into an art that they perhaps abandoned or to use it to teach the new generation about forgotten theatre practices such as forum theatre or improvisation.

The show could consist of stages that begin with monologues, or duologues, followed by the creation of theatre in groups and exploring the variations of styles which can be hugely entertaining. Take "What's My Line" as a prime example of comic genius mixed with undiluted creative mayhem which in itself breeds entertainment. Forum theatre which is widely used as forms of therapy can be used also. The possibilities are endless as are the swirling ideas in my head. There must never be a time that we allow one of the oldest forms of entertainment to not rightfully have their spot within the television industry. Dating back to the ancient Greeks, acting has impacted our lives for generations. I think it's time the passionate actors of our time stand up for what we love the most. Let's bring acting talent shows to the television. That's my goal of 2017. At least, it's one of them.

FASHION: London Fashion Week: Ashley Isham

When sleek feminine style meets masculine vogue, you know you are at Ashley Isham's show. At this year's London Fashion Week, the most spectacular exhibition at the Freemasons Hall by Ashley Isham's show was hugely popular and utterly delightful. The spellbinding atmosphere was incredibly special to the crowded room of fashion gurus and devoted style watchers. Never a dull moment with Ashley Isham, and AW17 proved to be most opulent. Full of bold colours, bold beautiful materials and pops of gold that give a delicious lux look.

Photo Courtesy of: Mina Michelle 
Photo Courtesy of: Mina Michelle 
Photo Courtesy of: Mina Michelle 
With strong ties to his native Singapore, the eastern influence was beautifully inscribed into the entrancingly classy outfits, particularly within the velvets. Velvets have had longevity over the past couple of seasons, and the luxury of velvet still seems solidified wtihin the catwalks so far. The lace was a big trend for Ashley, and colour specifics, with blacks, reds and greys taking the headline. It subtly incorporated the Asian style with embellished tropical prints, large chunky hoop earrings, which were so large, they drew attention nicely to the upper half. It was drama mixed with extravagant but not in any self-indulgent way, but rather a clear point towards future fashion. It doesn't feel like it would be difficult to see the large heavy earrings making their way to the highstreet soon. The face masks were a highlight, the audience engaging so deeply, it was a definite unique highlight to the show.

The men's outfits were particularly intriguing, with a semblence of femininity, without diminishing the stern boldness of masculinity. There was no end for the patterned looks, even for the men, a refreshing look and utterly divine. The male scarf was another edgy look that seemed to look so effortless, and complement the outfits.

Photo Courtesy of: Mina Michelle
Photo Courtesy of: Mina Michelle
Photo Courtesy of: Mina Michelle
For more about Ashley Isham and all the fabulous designs, you can click here.

This will by far be Ashley Isham's year, and it will be a delight to see the next collection.


FASHION: London Fashion Week: Mimi Tran

London Fashion Week is the week that pays respect to the art meets fashion in a tantalizing bundle of Fashion Shows, featured at some of the most stunning venues around London. Covent Garden's Freemasons' Hall was home to this year's Fashion Scout shows, a vast array of colour, beauty and sparkle seemed to dominate. Springtime seemed solidified within the exhibitions, a little token of spring in each of the dresses. The Freemasons' Building is a particularly stunning setting for the event. The architecture and atmosphere was electric and perfectly undertook the role of the Cathedral of Fashion.

Mimi Tran

The show was breathtakingly beautiful. Each piece is delicately entwined floral with sequin, and bridal lace with style. Undoubtedly everyone was enthralled by the marvel designs that scream fashion, but make each piece effortlessly wearable. This was revised further, with a couple of edgy lacy designs, but each piece so heavily detailed, it truly deserves up close scrutiny to be able to see the full scope of its design. The beautiful sequins were soaked in bright colours, and there was a huge variation in design, strapless, long, flowy and lacy; it was limitless and pure gold. Mimi Tran, a gorgeous vision herself, with such an exquisite eye and such attention to detail. Mimi, originally from Vietnam, has now set up base in the USA, and the top ethos behind her designs are so heavily slanted towards female empowerment, which now, more than ever is so hugely important. Fashion can empower and each carefully crafted design carries some sassy female power.

The black dresses denoted such elegance that it wouldn't be too difficult to picture them gracing the red carpets at the biggest of social events. Mimi Tran's dresses have already been worn by the likes of Sofia Reyes, Kelsea Ballerini and Paige Hurd.

Mimi Tran Design (Freemasons' Building)
Mimi Tran Design (Freemasons' Building)
Bridal

There is nothing more dreamy than beautifully intricate wedding dresses, that ooze class and grace. The bridal selection was particularly popular among the viewers, and again no limits to the design, there was a befitting design for any woman of any size or shape, and pattern etched beautifully into each fabric used. The dress designs finely engrain regal chic with modern prestige and Mimi Tram captures it perfectly. The florals are a beautiful transition from winter to spring, but not so saturated in florals that it becomes overdone. If you want to feel like a princess, Mimi Tran is for you.

Bridal (Mimi Tran)
Bridal (Mimi Tran)
Bridal (Mimi Tran)
Photo Courtesy of: Ben Pechey
Photo Courtesy of: Ben Pechey
Photo Courtesy of: Ben Pechey
Their website is filled with elegant and divine styles, which I would gladly allow my closet to claim. Full of vibrancy, glam and pure class, Mimi Tran is undoubtedly only going to keep rising, and it is easy to see why. Their website Mimi Tran can be found here.

Mimi Tran's Social Medias

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Thank you to PlusMinus Magazine for being able to share this journey with you! 

FASHION: Maharishi SS17 Spring/Summer Collection

The spiritedly organic style of Maharishi's SS17 Spring/Summer collection is every bit as expressive yet as beautifullly simplistic as expected, fuelling inner desire for comfort and practicality, and ardently highlighting bold African tradition. This of course is the brand new, Tour d'Afrique.

This range gives a nod to the divergence of the 'easy-elegance' trends such as stripes and painterly prints which are set to hit the list of trends for 2017. SS17 is mixing elements of neutral colours, bashful earthy tones, and camouflage DPM; lucidly defining Chinese and American military presence in Africa. The heavy use of Coltan, a vital mineral is sat at the core of the range, which skillfully emphasises topical issues centering on armed conflict in Africa. For the colour-loving fashionistas of the world, the SS17 does scatter in a dazzling sprinkle of cobalt blue, and lively oranges and yellows' without heavily drowning in colour, and staying true to its practical, utilitarian roots. There is no doubt that the Maharishi's revival of camouflage DPM is a brazen choice for a pair of Maharishi's Upcycled Arctic Ribbed Pants for men, or alternative choice for ladies, the black raw cropped pants, to shape a loosely fitted yet chic outfit.

Photo Courtesy of: Maharishi Official Website www.maharishistore.com
Photo Courtesy of: Maharishi Official Website www.maharishistore.com
This range is also paying homage to the tigerstripe, happily marrying the camouflage print, denoting a sporadic pattern throughout the collection, creating a refined style. Twenty-two years on, Maharishi has cleverly and respectably carved their way into the fashion industry, without diluting their beliefs. This happened once again in the stunning SS17 range. The philosophy behind Maharishi is deeply etched into the delicate cracks of Mother Nature, with reverence to Africa and its issues.  It is a fabulous range for those who are fascinated with those who smoothly blend art with culture.

For more information on Maharishi, who they are and their fabulous store, click here.

LIFESTYLE: Be The Ultimate Blogging Hustler

Being a blogger is one of the most exciting jobs you can have. There is still unfortunately many grey areas surrounding blogging and many people can look at you, tilt their heads to the side and frown in a desperate attempt to figure out what the heck blogging actually is! The blogging scope is huge, and it's a majestic sphere of opportunity and excitement, with many areas yet to be tapped into. We are only just scratching the surface, and yet we can make a comfortable living, and put our restless creative minds to good use.

Being a good hustler and working with companies who are going to either pay you, or fund your travel or give you something in return is vital. You must never compromise on the quality of your writing, as it's vital to have crisp clean copy that's engaging and informative. A little style never goes a miss, and above all personality, with a polite friendly personality. Here are some good ways to save money, make money and ultimately create a fabulous platform for you and your blog.

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay
Approach Companies With Your Pitches

This can be daunting but collating a group of email addresses of companies/brands that you want to work with is important, and keeping them on an Excel spreadsheet to ensure you keep track of who you have written to and when. Don't forget to chase them after two weeks - never forget the two week rule, and a polite chase up is more than fine, as long as you don't appear aggressive at the lack of response. The likelihood is your carefully crafted email fell straight into the junk pile of the company's email, or slipped down their list because of the countless amount of emails they already get. Figure out, what your first three main goals are:
  • What do you want from them
  • What do they want from you
  • What defines you 
Approach them with the title of 'blogger collaboration' or 'advertising opportunity' or 'working to promote your company', a little something that shows that there could be something in this for them, that's always key. Take a look at your branding, giving yourself a good logo to add to your media packs is key. It shows you have thought out your strategy, and consistency is vital when you're pitching to brands. Take a little look at a logo for your blog/company; it's a brilliant way to get your show on the road! Use it on emails also and of course on your business card.

Earn A Little Extra On The Side

Being a blogger essentially is being a writer. Of course many successful bloggers are also highly skilled photographers and designers, among other things, but working on your blog may not be the steady fantastic income you were hoping for. There is hope however, especially for the budding writers who write their blog specifically to create content. Freelance writing is a good way to top up your income, whether it is writing blogs for other companies, or writing copy for upcoming companies, there are always ways to put your writing to good use.

  • ProBlogger - a platform and forum that lists jobs for bloggers and freelance writers that are looking for people to work from home and this is worldwide so it's open to a magnitude of offers!
  • Blogger Jobs - another forum that lists jobs suited to your skills and super good for sassy writers looking for additional income.
  • Affilate Window - post ads on your website and earn revenue from each click - bear in mind this is probably not going to be the biggest money earner but having ads on your site makes your site look a little more professional and there's a chance you may earn a little, even pennies, or a few pounds, it's worth it.

Save Coupons & Do Online Surveys 

There are a plethora of sites where you can get coupons, free trials, and discounts which can assist you through those quieter months. In addition to this, there are some legit websites that cater towards people who are looking to make a little extra cash. There are so many that you sign upto and they can be so spam heavy that your inbox is ready to spontaneously combust and your phone number that you innocently tapped into an online survey is buzzing every five seconds. Here are some good legitimate websites that you can make cash from, quickly and relatively effortlessly with an easy structure to follow.

  • 20 Cogs - complete little tasks, such as signing up for a free box or subscription, or a quick survey, some do require you to spend a bit of money although not usually much (upto £5) unless you do any bet tasks but you are free to switch your task up if it's not suited to you
  • Money Saving Expert - find good deals and coupons...saving every little penny can help!


Hustle, Hustle, Hustle

It does not ever harm to ask. Drop a tweet to a brand asking if they work with bloggers, asking if they will give you some samples in exchange for social media coverage. Ask if they do samples or if they have any upcoming events. Ask a hotel or a restaurant for a complimentary or press rate stay/meal in exchange for a mention in a blog post. Keep in touch with as many people and companies as you can, ask around, don't feel you're bugging them, a tweet is a non-invasive form of communication that is actually one of the most benefical for people in the blogging industry. Ask them if they work with bloggers, ask if they want to collaborate, do some networking. If they say no, then you have tried, but they may subconsciously make a little note of you and if something comes up in the future, then your name is there! Go to events, any events, meet as many people as possible. You never know where the road may lead...

BUY my new book!!! "FROM BLOG TO BOSS" available now on Amazon - for further information on how to start a Blog, Blogger FAQ, making money, social media & SEO! Click HERE to buy.

Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay

CHARITY: The Importance Of Assistance Dogs

Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay













Living with a disibility of any kind is challenge. There are a whole spectrum of ailments, disabilities and issues that millions of people live with, and the fear of lacking independence can dampen confidence, it can also severely blight people's lives. The importance of having a dog as a companion can ease the pressures of day-to-day life, allowing people to feel less suffocated with the day-to-day tasks that most people take for granted. My cousin who has been suffering with a disability from birth is in the process of getting her first assistance dog, and already the difference it has made to her mood is incredible; and it can only continue to blossom.

Photo Courtesy of: DogsForGoodUK
We see guide dogs for the blind around on our streets, offering support, and awareness to the public and assisting those with vision problems. However, it is not just the blind who may need a dog in their lives. Dogs can be trained for a number of reasons, for people with disabilities from autism, to epilepsy, physical disabilities and more. They can provide comfort for those who may struggle to connect with other people, there is a gentleness in dogs that can ease worry, it's a proven fact that dogs can help lower your blood pressure. They become a friend, a loyal companion that will stay with you, watch over you, and keep you safe, when it feels the world is closing in. Crossing a busy street is daunting for anyone, but if you suffer a form of disability, then these tasks are naturally more magnified, and it can easily swirl out of control, and a loss of independence is imminent. A dog can create a sense of security, and that is only the beginning of the endless list. Some of the ways they can provide stability for a vulnerable person is: 
  • Assisting with opening doors
  • Assisting with dressing and undressing 
  • Retrieving dropped items such as a wallet 
  • Pressing a pedestrian crossing button
  • Reaching upto shop counters 
*All information provided from www.dogsforgood.org 

Photo Courtesy of: DogsForGoodUK
Dogs for Good UK is a charity that supports these incredible animals, and they are always in need of people to support them, whether it be fundraising, or training the pups, or even just spreading the word, it's vital that more people are aware that dogs can be such a lifeline for many people. You can find more information regarding what they do on their website. By allowing vulnerable people to have a dog, whether it is a small child or a fully grown adult, dogs can enrich someone's life, and create a brighter future, where before there may have only been darkness. Please take a moment to have a look at the charity Dogs for Good and spread the word about the importance of assistance dogs. Do you have any blogs or videos to share relating to the subject? Share your stories and let's make the world feel a little smaller and a little safer.